Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 2018 March 24 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Hsu PC, et. al.


Although tumour PD-L1 (CD274) expression had been used as a predictive biomarker in checkpoint immunotherapy targeting the PD1/PD-L1 axis in various cancers, the regulation of PD-L1 (CD274) expression is unclear. Yes-associated protein (YAP), an important oncogenic protein in Hippo signalling pathway, reportedly promotes cancer development. We investigated whether inhibition of YAP down-regulates PD-L1 (CD274) in human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Western blotting showed that 2 human MPM cell lines (H2052 and 211H) had increased PD-L1 protein expression compared to H290, MS-1 and H28 cells. In H2052 and 211H cells, PD-L1 mRNA expression was significantly increased compared to other MPM cell lines; YAP knockdown by small interfering RNA decreased PD-L1 protein and mRNA expression. Forced overexpression of the YAP gene increased PD-L1 protein expression in H2452 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay showed the precipitation of PD-L1 enhancer region encompassing 2 putative YAP-TEAD-binding sites in H2052 cells. We found that, in human MPM tissue microarray samples, YAP and PD-L1 concurrently expressed in immunohistochemistry stain (n = 70, P < .05, chi-square). We conclude that PD-L1 is correlated with YAP expression, and inhibition of YAP down-regulates PD-L1 expression in human MPM. Further study of how YAP regulates PD-L1 in MPM is warranted.